UAMS Myeloma Center Hits Impressive Milestone, Sees 1000th Article Published

By Nathan Tidwell

“This is a remarkable achievement by our amazing Myeloma Center physicians and researchers,” said Frits van Rhee, M.D., Ph.D., clinical director of the Myeloma Center, part of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.

Sandy Mattox, MNSc, RN, who tracks publications for the Myeloma Center, notes that No. 1,000 was a paper published in the July 11, 2023, issue of Blood Advances titled “Risk of infections associated with the use of bispecific antibodies in multiple myeloma: a pooled analysis.” It was co-authored by van Rhee and UAMS physicians and researchers Samer Al Hadidi, M.D.; Carolina Schinke, M.D.; John Shaughnessy Jr., Ph.D.; Sharmila Thanendrarajan, M.D.; Mauricio Zangari M.D.; and Fenghuang (Frank) Zahn, M.D., Ph.D.

“I started collecting publication information in 1992,” said Mattox, who has more than 20 years combined experience in myeloma. “Back then, I worked with a mathematician, and it was part of our job to handle all of the myeloma publications from the statistics to the tables to the figures. Everything was done manually.”

The Myeloma Center’s publications go back to a paper published in a 1989 edition of Cancer Research about advances in multiple myeloma therapy.

UAMS was the first to introduce the concept of (tandem) transplant followed by consolidation and maintenance. UAMS also introduced the first novel drug in myeloma, thalidomide. The Myeloma Center reported in a seminal paper in 2014 that myeloma is a curable disease. UAMS scientists identified seven distinct molecular subtypes of myeloma and were the first to utilize treatments directed at standard and high-risk disease. These and many other innovations have improved outcomes to well above the national average.

“Our list of submitted abstracts is probably well over 4,000 now,” Mattox said. “I mainly concentrate on published articles.”

Since the July 11 publication, the Myeloma Center has published another 18 articles, a pace that Mattox described as prolific.

“We are committed to helping our patients beat myeloma,” said van Rhee. “One valuable way we show that commitment is through research that breaks new ground in understanding the disease and developing new treatments to defeat it. The challenge is now to offer a curative approach to all patients with minimal side effects.”